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No 16.  Weekly. 26 July 2002

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Direct link to Green Paper on Security of Energy Supply
Green Paper on Energy

Direct link to the White Paper on European Transport Policy

White Paper 
on Transport 

Commission proposes co-generation Directive to save energy and combat climate change

Italy/Trento: Commission approves part of planned aid to take the transport of goods off the roads

The Commission takes a final decision on the State aid paid by France to its coal industry for 1998 to 2001

Ecopoints: Commission again decides not to apply the 108% clause due to insufficient evidence

Excise duties: Commission proposes harmonisation of taxation on commercial diesel fuel 

Aeronautics: Commission supports new strategic research agenda

NOTE: The "Energy and Transport in Europe Digest" will not appear during the month of August. Next issue of the newsletter will be mailed the 6 September 2002

Syntesis Memo note
                     

Short slide presentation
                     

Energy Management in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

Commission proposes co-generation Directive to save energy and combat climate change

A proposal for a Directive aimed at saving energy and combating climate change by promoting the co-generation of heat and power was presented by the European Commission on 23 July. Co-generation is a technique through which heat and electricity are produced in one single process. New co-generation plants save at least 10% of the fuel otherwise used for separate production of heat and electricity.

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Intermodal freight transport in the web site of Energy & Transport DG 
                     

State Aid legislation
                     

Italy/Trento: Commission approves part of planned aid to take the transport of goods off the roads

The Commission authorised on 23 July the main part of a special scheme from the Autonomous Province of Trento to encourage the transfer of goods from the road to alternative modes of transport. The Commission has however decided to launch the investigation regarding one of the provisions of the scheme related to investment aid for rail equipment.

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State Aid legislation
                     

Coal issues in the web site of Energy & Transport DG
                     

The Commission takes a final decision on the State aid paid by France to its coal industry for 1998 to 2001

On 23 July, France has been authorised to grant aid for the reduction of activity totalling EUR 5.9 million in addition to that already authorised by the Commission for 1998 and 2001. For 1999 and 2000, France must recover aid amounting to EUR 4.5 million from Charbonnages de France.

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What are the "ecopoints"?
                     

Ecopoints: Commission again decides not to apply the 108% clause due to insufficient evidence

The Commission decided on 24 July not to apply a cutback in ecopoints for 2002 as a result of the number of lorry trips made through Austria in 2001 as the so-called "108% clause" would require. Whilst initial statistics from Austria seemed to indicate that the 108% threshold had been exceeded in 2001, a closer examination cast doubt on this as no real evidence was provided of transit. The Commission will therefore be distributing the remaining ecopoints for 2002.

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The White Paper on European Transport Policy
                     

The site web of Taxation and customs DG 
                     

Excise duties: Commission proposes harmonisation of taxation on commercial diesel fuel

In order to achieve better environmental protection and to eliminate huge problems of distortion of competition in the EU's liberalised road transport markets, the European Commission has presented on 24 July a proposal to harmonise gradually Member States' excise duty on commercial diesel fuel and to align minimum excise rates on non-commercial diesel and unleaded petrol. The proposal would establish a target ("central") rate of EUR 350 per 1000 litres from 1 January 2003, to be adjusted for inflation from 2003 onwards, allowing Member States a gradually narrowing scope for variation either side of the central rate so as to arrive at a single harmonised rate by 2010. As for non-commercial diesel, the proposal would apply the same minimum level of excise duty as unleaded petrol by 2006 since there are no environmental or other reasons to justify the present lower minimum rate on diesel. Moreover, the proposal would increase the present minimum rate of duty on unleaded petrol from EUR 287 to EUR 360 to take account of inflation. Once the lowest rate of duty on commercial diesel exceeds EUR 360 under the gradual move towards harmonisation of the rate, that minimum rate must also become the minimum rate for non-commercial diesel fuel and unleaded petrol. Thus the minimum duty rate on non-commercial diesel and unleaded petrol will never be lower than that on commercial diesel and will be constantly adjusted in line with inflation. The common approach to the taxation of excise duties on diesel used by road hauliers and coach operators is one of the objectives laid out in the Commission's White Paper on European Transport Policy for 2010 (see IP/01/1263).

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Aeronautic issues in the web site of Research DG 
                     

Aeronautics: Commission supports new strategic research agenda

The European Commission welcomed on 23 July the initial findings of the Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe (ACARE). Its blueprint for a new strategic research agenda calls for a consistent and co-ordinated R&D drive at national and EU level, in both public and private sectors, with integrated technological platforms, large scale research test-beds, joint trans-national R&D projects and schemes to nurture bright ideas and foster innovation and technology transfer. ACARE proposes the launch of an ad-hoc Forum with Member States to improve research infrastructures. A new Aeronautics Contact Point information network should help make the most of EU know-how in this field. New technologies should be validated through a EU-wide certification system. ACARE also recommends upgrading skills and human resources in this sector, for instance by fostering mobility of researchers and life-long training.

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The contents of this digest are prepared by officials of the Energy and Transport DG and represent their personal views on the subject matters. These views have not been adopted or in any way approved by the European Commission and should not be relied upon as a statement of the Commission or the Energy and Transport DG.

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